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February 2018 (also published in iO Pages)

I recently heard that the Council of Culture has advised the Dutch government to award subsidies to dance and Dutch song. I assume that is meant: the Dutch song, especially the folk genre.

Few messages have recently made me as happy as this statement. Oh yes, the grant of one million euros to the band de Staat, by the same Council of Culture, came pretty close. It was great to know that these poor slobs were finally given the opportunity to breathe new life into their moribund career. If only one band deserved it, it would have been the State. And honestly, a million, it is actually nothing if you want to make it in America. Anyway, you don't look a given horse in the mouth. And I am eagerly waiting for the State's creative and accounting annual report for 2017. What would they have done with the first 250,000 euros?

The message came shortly after I understood that someone at the VVD wanted to delete all subsidies for pop music, because the name pop music was after all derived from the word 'popular' (oh yeah?) And that someone who makes pop music can therefore basting. If that does not work, you are not popular enough and you have to do something else, the reasoning was. I miss this logic. I believed in my naivety that subsidy was not intended for people who can already make a good living from it, but rather for those who cannot, and yet want to achieve, support or contribute something with some kind of 'art' - and that is unfortunately the vast majority in pop music. Maybe we should stop calling pop music pop music? Incidentally, I also know very popular people who cannot afford themselves, but this aside.

Now it turned out that money will definitely go to pop music (although you could discuss whether dance and the folk song belong to it) my heart made an extra jump, because with this we are fortunately assured of future Armin van Buurens and Frans Bauers. Mick Jagger and I already wondered how it should be, whether heirs to the throne were prepared and trained to take over the scepter from Armin and Frans. To my surprise, Mick suggested that I take it for so long for Frans, and made a special clip of 'Have you just here for me' to see how that would come about. But Mick can calmly continue with the Stones, as it turns out: the dance and the folk song get extra support in the back of the State. Excuse me, the state. Our national cultural heritage has been safeguarded for the time being.

Of course. All grants are by definition arbitrary and therefore provoke discussion, especially among the unlucky ones who fail. That some people earn a lot of money in a certain style does not seem to me in itself a reason not to support their needy colleagues. I personally would have found it a lot more sympathetic if Kayak had been allowed to 'spend that million from the State.' Besides a fantastic new rock opera, a tour of Ibiza of about three months would certainly have been possible. My car is also starting to show cures, so yes. And then that American dream could still go on! Come on, who wouldn't give us that?

What I think of subsidy on culture? To be honest? Fine, as long as it goes my way. Everyone for themselves, and I a little more than you, that is the motto. Maybe I should vote VVD after all.


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